Heat Wave Hydration Tips
It’s a hot one here in NJ today! Days like today it’s especially important to stay hydrated. Dehydration can put stress on the heart & kidneys, while putting us at risk for heat cramps and stroke. To stay cool together during these hot and sweaty days, here’s some tips for keeping you and your significant other cool.Drink water frequently throughout the day. Even if you’re not usually a water-
- drinker, keep a refillable-bottle or glass near you at all times and refill it as often as possible.
- Other hydrating sources of fluids are low-fat milk (≤1%) and unsweetened tea.
- If you need some flavor in your beverages, add fruit, vegetables, or herbs to give your water some flavor without adding sugar. Berries, citrus fruits, cucumber, mint, rosemary, and basil are all infuse water very well. Muddling them a little (or giving the herbs a little slap) can help release flavors if you don’t want to wait for them to infuse. Try these combos:
- Strawberry & basil
- Blueberries, lemon, and mint
- Orange slices & rosemary
- Cucumber, lime, and mint
- Blackberry, blueberry, and lemon
- Hydration isn’t limited to beverages. Eat more water-based fruits and veggies such as melon, berries, citrus, spinach, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, celery, and tomatoes. Eating them raw will maintain the water content.
- Before going outside, drink a glass of water. On hot days, sweat can accumulate right away, so we want to be extra-hydrated before entering any high-heat situations to avoid playing catch-up.
- Avoid exercising in the extreme heat, as this increases risk for heat stroke. If you must be outside excising in the heat, drink at least 16 oz of water 2 hours prior to exercising. You must go into a workout well hydrated.
- During exercise, aim to replenish with some water every 15 minutes. Follow up your workout with another 16-24 oz of water and/or drink containing carbs and electrolytes to replenish body salts lost (chocolate milk is a quick, cheap, and healthy choice!).
- Avoid high sugar and/or high caffeine beverages and foods (yes, even ice cream) – these can cause additional dehydration from the body increasing internal heat.
- Don’t cool off with a cold beer or cocktail. While they may taste refreshing at the time, alcohol acts as a diuretic causing the body to lose fluids.
- Avoid spicy foods, as these can also increase internal body temperature and increase sweating.
- If you’re looking for a sweet treat, puree fresh fruit to place in a popsicle mold, small plastic cups, or ice cube trays and freeze for a refreshing ice pop.
Follow these tips to stay cool during these hot, humid days of summer. You and your significant other can enjoy these treats and hydrating beverages together while getting cozy in the AC, under a shady tree, or a large beach umbrella.